Finland’s delicious food culture comes from both Eastern and Western sources of influence. Since the Middle Ages, many novelties from Sweden (west) and Novgorod (east) have come to Finland bringing new inspiration. The Finnish cold buffet has been inspired by both the Russian zakuska table and the Swedish smörgasbord.
Today, Finland takes its ideas and inspiration from food from around the world and then combines the ideas to develop an original and unique Finnish cuisine. The excellence of the chefs and their professional success can be recognized by the fact that six Michelin stars have been awarded to four restaurants in Helsinki.
Wild berries, mushrooms, game and fish make up Finland’s food culture, and the different seasons also play a role. Burbot roe and blinis at Shrovetide, roast lamb and a pudding made from malt and rye flour at Easter, herring and potatoes during the summer solstice, games in the fall, crawfish in August, ham at Christmas and stew burbot in winter. These dishes are known to taste much better when eaten at the perfect time of year.
Fresh fish can be found in Finland all year round and can be prepared in various ways. In Finnish restaurants serving Nordic cuisine, freshwater walleye and walleye are used in several of their dishes. Steamed walleye with smoked perch, spinach and pumpkin blossom stuffed with salmon and Baltic herring layered with lettuce with elegant French white wine are some of the tastiest Scandinavian gastronomic delights.
Wild birds, elk, and reindeer are also some of Finland’s most appreciated foods. Reindeer hash is one of the most popular reindeer dishes paired with cold beer or French red wine. Modern Scandinavian cuisines serve delicious moose fillets stuffed with goat cheddar, apricots and spinach flavored with balsamic syrup and Soignon goat cheese. Elk sauce, baby fenugreek, Portabella mushrooms and sweet potato are served with the steak.
Nordic cuisine is very popular in Finland and when you visit it, you will find that wild mushrooms are very popular with Finns as they go very well with fish and meat. Mushrooms are also used in stews and soups. A delicious chanterelle salad with grilled white fish, red berry tarts and crawfish sauce is a delicious summer meal. In eastern Finland, milk capsules, rusulas and other edible mushrooms are very popular, while in western Finland only chanterelles and porcini are eaten.
Blueberries, lingonberries, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, arctic blackberries, and sea buckthorn go great with ice cream, parfaits, and cold puddings. Finnish berries are also delicious garnishes for game and meat foods. Frozen gooseberries with a delicious hot caramel sauce make a wonderful dessert to pair with the main course of Nordic reindeer meat.
Finnish food culture also consists of crayfish parties in late summer afternoons, as in Sweden. The crawfish was the most important thing in the old days and these gatherings reached a climax when chilled crawfish boiled with chilled bottles of schnapps were brought to the table. Since then, the crayfish parties have changed. Today, crayfish are eaten as a delicious starter, followed by a tasty main course of poultry and juicy wild berries for dessert. Crayfish tails and butter are used in Scandinavian cuisines as one of the best healthy dinner recipes all year round to provide wonderful cooking options for people to choose from.